Srinagar: Noted Social and Peace activist O P Shah met with local youth at an event organised by renowned social worker Arajmand Makhdoomi on Tuesday at Srinagar.
Youth from various parts of the valley met O P Shah, the Chairman of Centre for Peace and Progress and discussed various developmental concerns and expressed their opinions over the current situation in the state.
O P Shah said in opening of his speech that “youth is the backbone of any society. Their problems and concerns should be handled honestly and effectively. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of governance and increasing employment opportunities.”
Shah while talking to the youth, mostly students said, “The situation in J&K is serious and complex. It needs to be handled carefully and with absolute sensitivity.”
The youth asserted that peace will return only when the stakeholders initiate an unconditional dialogue over the Kashmir issue and acknowledge that unemployment is not the only reason of the rage witnessed on ground. The youth also raised concerns about the abuse of Kashmiri students studying outside Kashmir.
Mr. Shah promised to immediately attend the grievances of the Kashmiri students studying outside Kashmir.
Nadeem Malik, a student raised a question, “If the government has different standards for Jammu, Ladakh, why do they have iron hand approach for Kashmir?”
“Our schools and colleges are mostly closed and we heavily rely on internet to educate ourselves but now the government is imposing e-curfew even on internet,” added the student.
Talking about the role of Media, Shah said “Media should play a positive and constructive role in a democratic society. Media needs to introspect seriously over its coverage in respect to Jammu and Kashmir, and Indo-Pak relations,” Shah said, adding that “It should not misuse the freedom of expression.”
“Dialogue is the essence of the democracy. It should be resumed immediately with all stakeholders. All concerned should excise restraint and speak only after verifying the facts thoroughly,” said Shah. However, Shah added “compulsions and limitations of the other side should be fully examined and appreciated.”
Shah concluded that violence in democracy has no place as it will not solve any problem but will complicate the situation.
Arajmand Makhdoomi addressing the gathering said, “Youth of Kashmir have been dehumanised and alienated and we need to address their concerns before we lose the little trust they have in us. We need to ensure their safety and stable career by creating employment opportunities for them in the state.”
“Youth should also help bring peace and stability to Kashmir and take the responsibilities of creating a self-sustaining business eco-system and also focus on their education,” Arajmand appealed to the youth of the state.